Not Much of Summer Left to Go

Archived | August 25, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It’s been a busy week after time away in the north woods. We managed to do just about everything on the list, and add a few things that weren’t ON the list. That’s the lovely thing about time away, what you don’t plan out so thoroughly. It was the cooking that was the surprise this time around. Such fun in a cabin kitchen throwing together a salad worthy of a museum display, and chicken breasts marinaded in Italian dressing on the grill, and a surprise cake with peach-colored roses from a local bakery topped off an evening of culinary decadence.
Time away is often not what you hope it to be, and though it wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been, a stay in the north woods is inevitably soothing to the soul and you come back refreshed and feeling somehow more than you were than when you left. Which is a good thing because you’ve got piles of laundry waiting, and an empty fridge, and a long list of school supplies to purchase before September 8, and the kids are a bit anxious and restless and there’s not much of summer left to go.
So I’ve been doing laundry these past few days, something I’ll confess I rather enjoy. It’s good work, work I do because these are the shorts my daughter wore on a hike in the woods on Saturday, and this is the shirt my son wears every other day because it has a happy face on it and it’s his favorite, and these are the new purple footie pajamas I bought my daughter which she wants to wear to school and I say I don’t think so, Honey, and this is Mr. Sundberg’s moss-colored sweater I bought when we drove down to Redwing to get away for a day and sit in the sun and eat strawberries and drink wine from those little bottles.
I love the smell of clean clothes and how they come back to me over the days, shrinking and fading and eventually they disappear, and new ones arrive — bigger and brighter with a new clothes smell, a reminder that time is passing faster that I care to admit. I think it was Einstein who said we have time so everything doesn’t happen at once. And thank the good Lord for that.
Peanut Butter Brownies
A friend made these for me when I was feeling down and, let me tell you, it wasn’t long before I was feeling good again. They’re tasty anytime, and enough that you can keep half the pan and give half away. Which is how it should be with a pan of something this good.
1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 13×9 pan. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.)
2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely.
3. In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over base.
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on high 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. Cut into 36 squares. Store covered in refrigerator.